Allen & Overy Interview 2022

Elizabeth K

Esteemed Member
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jul 6, 2021
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

January 2022

Please specify what the interview was for.

Summer Vacation Scheme 2022

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

09:50-10:30 - Case Study Preparation
10:30-11:30 - Case Study Interview
11:30-11:45 - Break
11:45-12:45 - Scenario Interview
12:45-13:00 - Break
13:00-13:45 - Trainee Q&A

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

1) Case Study Preparation
40 minutes to read through various documents relating to an M&A deal to deliver a 15 minute presentation. The bundle to read included: news articles surrounding the sector as a whole and the target company, information surrounding the target company founders/their roles in the company, early stage due diligence report on the target company, a signed confidentiality agreement between our client and the target, and a balance sheet. Note: have a calculator to work out the value of the company. Also, It's really important you practice looking at a balance sheet before the interview.

2) Case Study Interview
60 minutes with a partner - 15 minutes to present your findings from the case study and then 45 minutes interview on your understanding, logical reasoning and judgement surrounding the deal. My interview almost entirely involved the partner asking me questions about particular areas of the balance sheet or the due diligence report and what I thought the issues/solutions could be.

3) Scenario Interview
60 minutes with a senior associate. These questions are almost entirely behavioural and future-focused, therefore you have to answer with what your response would be in that scenario. The scenarios are quite detailed, so the interviewer repeats them twice. However, sometimes after asking a scenario question, the interviewer would follow up with, "have you had any experience dealing with this kind of scenario?" making it slightly competency-based too. Towards the end there were a few motivational questions, with the key one being "why Allen & Overy?".

Please list any interview questions you were asked.

Why Allen & Overy?
Why Commercial Law?
When have you worked with a disruptive team member?
When have you been innovative?

What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

I passed the case study section of the assessment day and failed on the scenario interview, so I will tell you what I did for the case study and what I think I got wrong for the scenario interview.

1) Case Study
I recommend reading about commercial awareness generally to understand how businesses function. For example, using Jake Schogger's or Chris Stoakes' books, doing virtual internships on Forage which acquaint you with NDAs/confidentiality agreements and researching balance sheets/how to interpret them (also included in Jake Schogger's book). Remember that case studies are about thinking flexibly, finding solutions and understanding the basics of what a company wants to achieve (i.e. money, expansion into new markets, not be restricted by NDAs or have the expense of litigation or arrears when buying a company etc.) than having specific commercial knowledge/awareness. Though, there might be times when commercial awareness is useful, don't bring it up if it's irrelevant and stick to the situation at hand. The preparation time is also extremely time pressured, as there are a lot of documents. Therefore, it is best to skim read everything if you can and stick to bullet pointing key issues/points under the questions you are given (I literally only had time to write single words like 'lease' sometimes), as you can expand on these in your presentation - remember the notes are only for you so they do not need to be extensive/in full prose. Note: you will need a calculator to work out the value estimation of the company and you do need to practice looking at balance sheets.

2) Scenario Interview
My feedback mainly revolved around my Scenario Interview and my recommendation would be to not just skim through SJTs (Situational Judgement Tests) when applying for firms, but to really try to take in what the option you chose presents as a step-by-step course of action. The answers I did well on were the ones where I was able to outline in steps how I would approach a scenario (e.g. first X, then if Y, Z etc.). Also, do not get too caught up in thinking about how tiny details could change your responses and say 'it depends', treat the scenario generally and just state in what way you would tend to react. There are 4 particular competencies they are assessing you on: - Solutions Agility (focusing on results, overcoming obstacles, meet deadlines, detailed/good quality) - People Agility (understand others, adapt style, supportive, team player, build working relationships) - Change Agility (thrives on change, instigates innovative improvement, passionate about learning, keen to develop skills & knowledge) - Mental Agility (sharp, insightful mind, accurate analysis, numerical analysis). In the feedback they tell you which areas you did well/not well on, but I think the interview focuses heavily on People Agility more than the others. Try to think of how you would react/approach/talk to different people in various scenarios and try to actively take in your SJT answers.

Were you successful?

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